SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. >> A case could have been made for a number of horses in Thursday’s $100,000 John Morrissey Stakes. But when an off track resulted in the scratch of two forwardly placed types — morning-line favorite Weekend Surprise and Bustin It, a winner of four in a row — it changed the complexion of the statebred race.
Brimstone obliged the closers in the field by tearing through a quarter-mile in 21.74 seconds. After running a half in :44.96, the 10-1 longshot turned the corner with a two-length lead and headed down the stretch. He ran out of fuel just outside the eighth pole, however, and was passed first by Ostrolenka and Gypsum Johnny.
But it was Celtic Chaos, flying down the center of the track, who had the most momentum. The son of Dublin, after encountering resistance from Ostrolenka, edged away from that one and crossed the line a head in front under regular rider Eric Cancel. The running time for 6½ furlongs on a main track rated “good” was 1:17.65.
“Eric gets along great with this horse, and everything worked out today,” said winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. “It’s great for [winning owners (Zilla Racing Stables) because so many of them are from Saratoga, and they have a passion for the game. We wanted a fast pace when we saw Bustin It, as well as a couple of others, scratch. Thankfully, it worked out the way we wanted.”
Papa Shot finished 2 ½ lengths behind Ostrolenka in third. He was followed by T Loves a Fight, Gypsum Johnny, Brimstone, Eye Luv Lulu, Fish Trappe Road and Breakin the Fever.
click here to read more.